Use Rainbow Chard Stems to make Salsa

What to make with Chard Stems - Fisher Hill Farm

It’s a common question. Rainbow Chard is a popular farmers market item but tossing those stems seems like a waste. People often ask what we do with them.

There’s a few things you can do. You can sautee them in a pan separate from the leaf and then add it together, or make a separate dish with them altogether with a little garlic. You can add them into a hash or into a quiche. But one of the most fun things to do is make salsa.

Chard salsa is super easy to make, is very sweet, can easily be made spicy, and goes really great with our eggs and chicken. You more than likely have everything you need in your kitchen to make it already, but we have a version straight from the farmers market that will kick your afternoon snack into high gear.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

One market bunch of Rainbow Chard stems (leaves removed)

3 or 4 Scapes

1 Spring onion

1 fresh lemon

Salt and pepper

(hot pepper optional)

WHAT YOU’LL DO:

Fine chop the Chard, Onion, and Scapes. Squeeze the fresh lemon over it. Add the salt and pepper (add a hot pepper to your liking or hot sauce). Mix well. Cover. Put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. That’s it.

The lemon juice will break down the chard stem just enough to make it easier to eat. This might be done just as well with a lime. But lemon goes well with the flavor the chard stem gives and also helps keep everything from getting brown.

Here’s a super quick video that shows the process:

It’s so simple! Just make sure to cut everything pretty small so it has more surface area to react with the lemon and is easy to chew.

We have used this for a quick dip, to top our tacos, or to throw over some eggs. It tastes even better after a day in the fridge but isn’t necessary.

If you’ve been throwing your chard stems away, this is a quick way to make something new with what you didn’t use before. We want you to come away from the market with as much food to stock up your house as possible.

If you decide to try this recipe, we’d love to hear from you. If you know of another way to use chard stems or any of our other products, we’d love to hear from you! We’ve learned more from our customers over the years than we could ever learn in a lifetime on how our products are best used.

We don’t like to see waste! Compost what you don’t use or check out ways to use every last drop of what the earth gives us. If we share these recipes and ideas we can reduce waste and get some really cool recipes and ideas out there.

Thanks everyone. We can’t wait to see you at the next market.

Crop Report: First of 2019!

Officially it is spring but Mother Nature is thinking otherwise. Just the other morning we had a little frost on the puddles and scattered snow showers on and off. But all in all the ground is starting to firm up and the mud is going away (thank goodness). With any kind of luck we can start to get out in the fields next week and get a few early crops planted.

This week we officially wrapped up the greenhouse expansion project. Hard to believe when I first started vegetable farming my greenhouse was a whopping 10 x 16 feet. Then in 2004 we added on another 12 feet. That little greenhouse raised plants, dried onions, cured sweet potatoes, and stored odds and ends in the off season. The last few years we have raised plants in the high tunnel by the barn but it wasn’t ideal.

So this spring we tore down our little greenhouse to make way for a 20 x 36 foot greenhouse. It was a fun project and a nice change of pace. Last Friday we moved in onion plants and now its almost full (maybe it should have been bigger?) Peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant are off to a great start. Pretty soon we will be starting zucchini, cucumbers, melons, and a few flowers for our girls.

We started a little bit of machinery maintenance on the mulch layer. Plastic mulch is a very helpful tool for us for many reasons. It helps to warm the soil in the spring, keeps the weeds away, and makes it possible for drip irrigation. The plow points on the front were pretty worn out. I was able to get a new set at the farm supply store in Penn Yan (another story someday). I cut the old ones off and got the shiny new on, greased her up and now she’s ready to roll. On the rainy days I can chip away at the rest of the fleet.

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Machine Maintenance Required

Garlic is well on its way already. They look like little soldiers standing in a row. Garlic is a great crop to make you feel good. Always the first out of the ground. It can get snowed on, froze, and rained on but it doesn’t care, just keeps growing.

The meat chicken business is in full swing. We are butchering the first batch of spring next week and then starting the beginning of May we will have fresh every week until fall. We get chicks every other week and right now we have three groups going. It’s amazing how they grow so fast!

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Chickens Growing Up Quick

But did you know that post office ships the baby chicks? They come from a hatchery in Pennsylvania that ships them Tuesday and we usually get them the next day. But you should see the looks on peoples faces when you have these noisy boxes of chicks!

We are hoping to get some of our direct seed crops in the field next week. Peas, radishes, and carrots are the first guys to be seeded outside. They don’t mind the cooler soil temperature. We also have a whole bunch of transplants to squeeze into the high tunnel and caterpillar tunnel.

Bok choi, kale, chard, beets, broccoli rabe, and scallions will be the first transplants of the season. I’m sure they won’t all fit inside and the rest will be transplanted outside. We use the tunnels to get a jump on the season and have more variety on the tables at the market. Next to follow are potatoes and onions but they will have to wait until the following week.

Still have time to sign up for the Summer CSA and we are very excited about the new Victor pickup location. Check us out at the markets Rochester Public, Saturday and Brighton, Sunday.

-Phillip